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  Review: A Quiet Weekend in Capri
On 04/11/04 by James 'Sweetjimmy' Long

Developer: Silvio Savarese
Publisher: Got Game Entertainment
ESRB: "E" for Everyone
Official Site: www.gotgameentertainment.com/capri/
Platform(s): PC
Played On: PC

Gameplay
Upon first loading up A Quiet Weekend in Capri (QWC), I had no idea what to expect. I�ve played a few adventure games in my day; excellent titles such as Broken Sword, The Longest Journey, and the Hero Quest series all have a place in my heart.
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Adventure titles usually involve a deep, intriguing plot in addition to striking characters. The Longest Journey stands out in my mind because it drew me in just like a good novel can. In actuality, that�s what most point-and-click adventures are; compelling, interactive books. After a few minutes of research I read that QWC could easily be compared to Myst and my heart sank. I was never particularly fond of Myst. In my opinion, games like Myst focus on the worst part of the adventure genre: the puzzle. Well, I hoped, under my breath, that QWC would follow a more traditional approach to adventure gaming. I was wrong.

QWC essentially is little more than a lightly coded slide show set to a contemporary/new age guitar and piano score. Wait. Scratch that last sentence� it just made the rest of this review completely obsolete. You begin your adventure knowing little more than you�re just a tourist going to this small Island in the Mediterranean Sea.
:: capri ::

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The interface merely shows you simple photographs of what you�re looking at. To navigate, you simply have to find the hot spot on the photograph that turns your cursor into a progression arrow. Click your mouse, and you are awarded with a photograph displaying your new position. If you think this sounds exciting what so ever, you�re wrong.

When you first step off the boat onto the island, it�s your goal to click on the various photographs that pop up until you get to a taxi driver. Unfortunately, the Taxi driver does not know where to drive unless you click on the street ahead of you, thus indicating that is where you wish to go. After a short driving slideshow of about 10 frames or so, you wind up in the middle of a town on Capri. As you walk the streets and paths, you meet interesting �cough!- people like tourist guides, artists, residents, and what not. Each one of them has something interesting to say about the history of the island. Also, while you�re walking about, a virtual tour-guide fills you in on important spots, architectural landmarks, and scenic vistas in Capri. I would not hesitate to call QWC educational.

When you finally step up to your Hotel, though, somehow you fall through a time-traveling dimensional portal. Yes, you read that right. You fall through a time- traveling dimensional portal. On the other side of this portal, the tourists are no longer on the island and your name is Rafele. As Rafele, it is your sole purpose to run errands for just about every resident in Capri. You�ll participate in exciting actions such as making Capri Salad or having a quiet chat with the confectioner. All the while, you�ll find lots of valuable inventory items such as a fruit converter (?) and the green bulb. At some point in the game you�ll also be awarded with a Swiss Army Knife. Unfortunately, the knife cannot be used to slice open your own wrists and end this wretched train wreck of a game.

Nothing makes me angrier than a critic that does not offer up some sort of advice as to how a bad game could have been better. I guess I�ll try to be constructive by saying that the plot is horrible. It wouldn�t have taken a Pulitzer prize winner to come up with something better than the whole �dimensional rift in space and time� routine. I�ll follow that up by saying that delivery simulators are not fun, either. The game plays out more tediously than a game of chess against a blind man with Alzheimer�s. You really can�t blame the developer for this, though. QWC is touted to be a quiet, relaxing adventure, which I suppose it is. I think the majority of PC gamers require excitement in their games, however, and will not appreciate QWC. If I want something quiet and relaxing, I get away from the computer and go do something quiet and relaxing. I am positive that QWC will find an audience somewhere far from the clique of computer gaming elite�so long as Joseph Lieberman is alive, anyway.

Graphics
QWC is nothing more than a slideshow. The photographs displayed through the show look as if they were professionally taken, and the photographer was thorough. Many areas in the game allow you to view the scene from multiple angles. If it weren�t for the included map system, you�d probably get lost in this game quickly. There is much of this island to explore if you�ve the patience for it. The high point of QWC, to me, is finding the good places that have beautiful views. That�s about as exciting as QWC gets; looking forward to seeing pretty pictures on your monitor of a place you�ll probably never visit.

Interfaces in QWC look somewhat slopped together and the map system is completely hand-drawn (that�s a bad thing in this case). I attribute these shortcomings to the fact that the development team consisted only a man and his son. Considering QWC was completely done by two people, the title�s actually pretty impressive. I�m not saying it�s engaging, but I have to tip my hat to these guys for developing a game and getting published all by themselves. As much crap as I give QWC, it has received some decent reviews from other sites, so while I had the chance I just wanted to say that I admire these two guys for coding an entire game by themselves. Not much can be said about the graphics aside from what I�ve already touched on. There is no rendering, no FMV, and definitely no CGI.

Sound
To go along with the slideshow stills, ambient noises such as traffic and wildlife were added in. The environmental audio is a nice touch so long as it�s not loud enough to keep you awake. The voice acting isn�t as bad as the rest of the game. In fact, most of the folks you run into don�t sound like they�re reading their lines from an index card. If you like John Tesh, you�ll probably dig the musical score. Most of the music consists of a lone piano player haphazardly tickling up and down the keyboard while synthesized bass keeps him somewhat on track. On the rest of the tracks, the piano is substituted with an acoustic guitar. Another bonus for all you Tesh fans (Megahurtz) is that QWC�s entire CD soundtrack comes bundled with the game. What a deal!

In a Word: Dull

Word to the Publisher: I actually want to congratulate Got Game for going out on a limb for the Silvio development team. You don�t see many publishers willing to take this kind of risk. I find it admirable, if not a little crazy.

Full Reviews:

Final Score: 2.0 out of 10
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#1 - Houdini - 04/11/04 @ 07:58 PM EST
not that anyone cares.. but i have actually been to Capri.
its about 30 or so minutes off of Naples..
the island is beautiful.. its like lifestyles of the rich and famous .. huge yachts.. beatiful flower gardens.. awesome colored grottos (caves) green/red/white/whatever.. neat stuff.
ate dinner at a place there that cost me about 20bucks.. i got to choose my lobster out of the tank..
that place was awesome in everyway.
Naples on the other hand....weird. big city.. sorta unsafe feeling and i come /ble>
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#2 - Ram - 04/12/04 @ 12:58 AM EST
all, but come on! This genre needs help so bad. *sigh*Last Edited on 04/12/04 @ 12:59 AM EST
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#3 - Eidolon - 04/12/04 @ 02:13 AM EST
Ram: The sad truth is that independent style games like this are the only adventures ever published anymore;
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#4 - Ram - 04/12/04 @ 05:12 AM EST
True. I watched the trailer for the next Leisure Suit Larry earlier tonight. I would say that the potential is there for a small revival, but wouldn't count on it. If they would do more games like BG&E or shift the genre in the direction of BG&E, then we could see a resurgence(sp?) in it.
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#5 - Evil_SPanKY - 04/12/04 @ 08:55 AM EST
LOL sweetjimmy...nice review. I bet your review has more entertainment value than this game, by the sound of it.
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#6 - sweetjimmy - 04/12/04 @ 11:27 AM EST
...the lengths I go to for you guys. ;)
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#7 - Megahurtz - 04/12/04 @ 09:24 PM EST
Don't diss the Tesh. :P


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